IT Service Management/Service Management

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Service management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.[1] This lesson introduces service management, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and the ITIL service lifecycle.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for the Service Management portion of ITIL Foundation certification include:[2]

  • Describe the concept of best practices in the public domain
  • Describe and explain why ITIL is successful
  • Define and explain the concept of a service
  • Define and explain the concept of internal and external customers
  • Define and explain the concept of internal and external services
  • Define and explain the concept of service management
  • Define and explain the concept of IT service management
  • Define and explain the concept of stakeholders in service management
  • Define processes and functions
  • Explain the ITIL process model and the characteristics of processes
  • Describe the structure of the ITIL service lifecycle

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: IT service management
  2. Wikipedia: ITIL
  3. Wikipedia: Service desk (ITSM)
  4. Wikipedia: Best practice
  5. Archive.org: ITIL.org: Overview
  6. APMG Study: Introduction to the ITIL Service Management Framework

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: What is ITIL 2011?
  2. YouTube: ITIL Service Lifecycle in a Nutshell

Activities[edit]

  1. Describe the concept of best practice and identify three sources of best practice. Include examples of best practices demonstrated by the service desk at your organization, your school, or a service desk you've contacted recently.
  2. Describe three reasons why ITIL is successful. Include examples of how this success is demonstrated by the service desk at your organization, your school, or a service desk you've contacted recently.
  3. Explain the concept of a service and include a specific example or examples.
  4. Explain the difference between internal and external customers and include examples of each.
  5. Explain the difference between internal and external services and include examples of each.
  6. Explain the concept of IT service management. Include examples to support the explanation.
  7. Explain the differences between processes, roles, and functions and include examples of each.
  8. Explain the ITIL process model and the characteristics of processes. Include examples of at least three processes.
  9. Describe the structure of the ITIL service lifecycle. Include descriptions for each of the five stages of the lifecycle.
  10. Case Project - Form teams of three to five students. Begin to design a service desk operation for a hypothetical organization of your choice. Your service desk will serve both internal and external customers of the organization.
    • Create a new document or wiki page and list your team members.
    • Add sections to the document for Introduction, Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement, and Functions and Responsibilities.
    • Under Introduction, describe your organization. What industry is it in? What products or services does it provide?
    • What is the structure of the organization? How many employees are there? Create an organization chart to document the organizational structure and add it to the introduction.
    • Identify internal service desk customers. Which departments do they work for and what are their needs? Add this information to the introduction.
    • Identify external service desk customers. What products or services do they use and what are their needs? Add this information to the introduction.
    • Design a team logo the team will use for project documentation. Add the logo to the project documentation.
  11. Use the Discuss page to post comments and questions regarding this lesson.
  12. Review the lesson summary, key terms, review questions and assessments below.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • Best practice is proven activities or processes that have been successfully used by multiple organizations.[3]
  • Sources of best practice include public frameworks, standards, and proprietary knowledge.[4]
  • ITIL is successful because it offers vendor-neutral, non-prescriptive best practices.[5]
  • A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.[6]
  • Internal customers work for the same business as the IT service provider. External customers work for a different business than the IT service provider.[7]
  • Internal service providers are part of the same organization as the customer. A shared service provider is an internal service provider that provides shared IT services to more than one business unit. External service providers are part of a different organization from its customers.[8]
  • Internal, shared, and external service providers are also known as Type I, Type II, and Type III service providers, respectively.[9]
  • Service management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.[10]
  • IT Service Management is the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business, and is performed by IT service providers through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.[11]
  • Stakeholders are those with an interest in an organization, project, IT service, etc. This includes customers, partners, employees, shareholders, owners, etc. They may be interested in the activities, targets, resources, or deliverables.[12]
  • Processes are structured sets of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. It may include any of the roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed.[13]
  • Roles are sets of responsibilities, activities and authorities assigned to a person or team.[14]
  • Functions are teams or groups of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities.[15]
  • Process characteristics include measurability, specific results, customers, and responsiveness to triggers.[16]
  • The process model describes actions, dependencies and sequences that use inputs and triggers, combined with resources and capabilities, to produce specific, measurable results.[17]
  • The ITIL service lifecycle includes Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.[18]
  • Service strategy defines the perspective, position, plans and patterns that a service provider needs to execute to meet an organization’s business outcomes.[19]
  • Service design includes the design of the services, governing practices, processes and policies required to realize the service provider’s strategy and to facilitate the introduction of services into supported environments.[20]
  • Service transition ensures that new, modified or retired services meet the expectations of the business as documented in the service strategy and service design stages of the lifecycle.[21]
  • Service operation coordinates and carries out the activities and processes required to deliver and manage services at agreed levels to business users and customers.[22]
  • Continual service improvement ensures that services are aligned with changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to IT services that support business processes.[23]

Key Terms[edit]

Key Terms definitions are copyright © AXELOS Limited 2011. All rights reserved. Material is reproduced with the permission of AXELOS.[24]

acceptance
Formal agreement that an IT service, process, plan or other deliverable is complete, accurate, reliable and meets its specified requirements.
accredited
Officially authorized to carry out a role.
activity
A set of actions designed to achieve a particular result.
agreement
A document that describes a formal understanding between two or more parties.
application
Software that provides functions which are required by an IT service.
assessment
Inspection and analysis to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed, that records are accurate, or that efficiency and effectiveness targets are being met.
audit
Formal inspection and verification to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed, that records are accurate, or that efficiency and effectiveness targets are being met.
Best Management Practice (BMP)
The Best Management Practice portfolio is owned by the Cabinet Office, part of HM Government.
best practice
Proven activities or processes that have been successfully used by multiple organizations.
British Standards Institution (BSI)
The UK national standards body, responsible for creating and maintaining British standards.
budget
A list of all the money an organization or business unit plans to receive, and plans to pay out, over a specified period of time.
budgeting
The activity of predicting and controlling the spending of money.
business process
A process that is owned and carried out by the business.
business service
A service that is delivered to business customers by business units.
business service management
The management of business services delivered to business customers.
category
A named group of things that have something in common.
certification
Issuing a certificate to confirm compliance to a standard.
classification
The act of assigning a category to something.
client
A generic term that means a customer, the business or a business customer.
code of practice
A guideline published by a public body or a standards organization, such as ISO or BSI.
compliance
Ensuring that a standard or set of guidelines is followed, or that proper, consistent accounting or other practices are being employed.
component
A general term that is used to mean one part of something more complex.
concurrency
A measure of the number of users engaged in the same operation at the same time.
contract
A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
control
A means of managing a risk, ensuring that a business objective is achieved or that a process is followed.
control processes
The ISO/IEC 20000 process group that includes change management and configuration management.
cost
The amount of money spent on a specific activity, IT service or business unit.
cost benefit analysis
An activity that analyses and compares the costs and the benefits involved in one or more alternative courses of action.
cost effectiveness
A measure of the balance between the effectiveness and cost of a service, process or activity.
countermeasure
Can be used to refer to any type of control. The term is most often used when referring to measures that increase resilience, fault tolerance or reliability of an IT service.
course corrections
Changes made to a plan or activity that has already started to ensure that it will meet its objectives.
crisis management
Crisis management is the process responsible for managing the wider implications of business continuity.
critical success factor (CSF)
Something that must happen if an IT service, process, plan, project or other activity is to succeed.
culture
A set of values that is shared by a group of people, including expectations about how people should behave, their ideas, beliefs and practices.
customer
Someone who buys goods or services.
customer asset
Any resource or capability of a customer.
deliverable
Something that must be provided to meet a commitment in a service level agreement or a contract.
dependency
The direct or indirect reliance of one process or activity on another.
differential charging
A technique used to support demand management by charging different amounts for the same function of an IT service under different circumstances.
document
Information in readable form.
driver
Something that influences strategy, objectives or requirements.
estimation
The use of experience to provide an approximate value for a metric or cost.
exception report
A document containing details of one or more key performance indicators or other important targets that have exceeded defined thresholds.
external customer
A customer who works for a different business from the IT service provider.
external metric
A metric that is used to measure the delivery of IT service to a customer.
fulfilment
Performing activities to meet a need or requirement.
function
A team or group of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities.
governance
Ensures that policies and strategy are actually implemented, and that required processes are correctly followed.
guideline
A document describing best practice, which recommends what should be done.
information technology (IT)
The use of technology for the storage, communication or processing of information.
infrastructure service
A type of supporting service that provides hardware, network or other data center components.
internal customer
A customer who works for the same business as the IT service provider.
internal metric
A metric that is used within the IT service provider to monitor the efficiency, effectiveness or cost effectiveness of the IT service provider’s internal processes.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
A non-governmental organization that is a network of the national standards institutes of 156 countries.
internet service provider (ISP)
An external service provider that provides access to the Internet.
ISO 9000
A generic term that refers to a number of international standards and guidelines for quality management systems.
ISO 9001
An international standard for quality management systems.
ISO/IEC 20000
An international standard for IT service management.
IT infrastructure
All of the hardware, software, networks, facilities etc. that are required to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control or support applications and IT services.
IT service
A service provided by an IT service provider.
IT service management
The implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business.
IT Service Management Forum (itSMF)
The IT Service Management Forum is an independent organization dedicated to promoting a professional approach to IT service management.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
A set of best-practice publications for IT service management.
job description
A document that defines the roles, responsibilities, skills and knowledge required by a particular person.
lifecycle
The various stages in the life of an IT service, configuration item, incident, problem, change etc.
manageability
An informal measure of how easily and effectively an IT service or other component can be managed.
management information
Information that is used to support decision making by managers.
Management of Risk
Includes all the activities required to identify and control the exposure to risk, which may have an impact on the achievement of an organization’s business objectives.
management system
The framework of policy, processes, functions, standards, guidelines and tools that ensures an organization or part of an organization can achieve its objectives.
maturity level
A named level in a maturity model.
mean time to repair (MTTR)
The average time taken to repair an IT service or other configuration item after a failure.
mean time to restore service (MTRS)
The average time taken to restore an IT service or other configuration item after a failure.
mission
A short but complete description of the overall purpose and intentions of an organization.
model
A representation of a system, process, IT service, configuration item etc. that is used to help understand or predict future behavior.
modelling
A technique that is used to predict the future behaviour of a system, process, IT service, configuration item etc.
objective
The outcomes required from a process, activity or organization in order to ensure that its purpose will be fulfilled.
operate
To perform as expected.
operational
The lowest of three levels of planning and delivery (strategic, tactical, operational).
operational cost
The cost resulting from running the IT services, which often involves repeating payments
optimize
Review, plan and request changes, in order to obtain the maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
organization
A company, legal entity or other institution.
outcome
The result of carrying out an activity, following a process, or delivering an IT service etc.
partnership
A relationship between two organizations that involves working closely together for common goals or mutual benefit.
performance
A measure of what is achieved or delivered by a system, person, team, process or IT service.
performance management
Activities to ensure that something achieves its expected outcomes in an efficient and consistent manner.
plan
A detailed proposal that describes the activities and resources needed to achieve an objective
planning
An activity responsible for creating one or more plans.
policy
Formally documented management expectations and intentions.
post-implementation review (PIR)
A review that takes place after a change or a project has been implemented.
practice
A way of working, or a way in which work must be done.
prerequisite for success (PFS)
An activity that needs to be completed, or a condition that needs to be met, to enable successful implementation of a plan or process.
procedure
A document containing steps that specify how to achieve an activity.
process
A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective.
process control
The activity of planning and regulating a process, with the objective of performing the process in an effective, efficient and consistent manner.
process manager
A role responsible for the operational management of a process.
process owner
The person who is held accountable for ensuring that a process is fit for purpose.
pro-forma
A template or example document containing sample data that will be replaced with real values when these are available.
program
A number of projects and activities that are planned and managed together to achieve an overall set of related objectives and other outcomes.
project
A temporary organization, with people and other assets, that is required to achieve an objective or other outcome.
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
A project management standard maintained and published by the Project Management Institute.
Project Management Institute (PMI)
A membership association that advances the project management profession through globally recognized standards and certifications, collaborative communities, an extensive research program, and professional development opportunities.
PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)
The standard UK government methodology for project management.
quality
The ability of a product, service or process to provide the intended value.
record
A document containing the results or other output from a process or activity.
relationship
A connection or interaction between two people or things.
relationship processes
The ISO/IEC 20000 process group that includes business relationship management and supplier management.
resolution processes
The ISO/IEC 20000 process group that includes incident and problem management.
response time
A measure of the time taken to complete an operation or transaction.
responsiveness
A measurement of the time taken to respond to something.
review
An evaluation of a change, problem, process, project etc.
risk
A possible event that could cause harm or loss, or affect the ability to achieve objectives.
risk assessment
The initial steps of risk management: analysing the value of assets to the business, identifying threats to those assets, and evaluating how vulnerable each asset is to those threats.
risk management
The process responsible for identifying, assessing and controlling risks.
role
A set of responsibilities, activities and authorities assigned to a person or team.
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
US law that regulates financial practice and corporate governance.
scalability
The ability of an IT service, process, configuration item etc. to perform its agreed function when the workload or scope changes.
scope
The boundary or extent to which a process, procedure, certification, contract etc. applies.
separation of concerns (SoC)
An approach to designing a solution or IT service that divides the problem into pieces that can be solved independently.
service
A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.
service asset
Any resource or capability of a service provider.
service culture
A customer-oriented culture.
service level
Measured and reported achievement against one or more service level targets.
service lifecycle
An approach to IT service management that emphasizes the importance of coordination and control across the various functions, processes and systems necessary to manage the full lifecycle of IT services.
service management
A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.
service manager
A generic term for any manager within the service provider.
specification
A formal definition of requirements.
stakeholder
A person who has an interest in an organization, project, IT service etc.
standard
A mandatory requirement.
status
The current stage in the lifecycle of the associated item.
system
A number of related things that work together to achieve an overall objective.
system management
The part of IT service management that focuses on the management of IT infrastructure rather than process.
tactical
The middle of three levels of planning and delivery (strategic, tactical, operational).
third party
A person, organization or other entity that is not part of the service provider’s own organization and is not a customer.
threat
A threat is anything that might exploit a vulnerability.
threshold
The value of a metric that should cause an alert to be generated or management action to be taken.
transaction
A discrete function performed by an IT service.
tuning
The activity responsible for planning changes to make the most efficient use of resources.
user
A person who uses the IT service on a day-to-day basis.
value for money
An informal measure of cost effectiveness.
variance
The difference between a planned value and the actual measured value.
vision
A description of what the organization intends to become in the future.
vulnerability
A weakness that could be exploited by a threat
work in progress (WIP)
A status that means activities have started but are not yet complete.
work instruction
A document containing detailed instructions that specify exactly what steps to follow to carry out an activity.
work order
A formal request to carry out a defined activity.
workload
The resources required to deliver an identifiable part of an IT service.

Review Questions[edit]

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  1. Best practice is _____ that have been _____.
    Best practice is proven activities or processes that have been successfully used by multiple organizations.
  2. Sources of best practice include _____, _____, and _____.
    Sources of best practice include public frameworks, standards, and proprietary knowledge.
  3. ITIL is successful because it offers _____, _____ _____.
    ITIL is successful because it offers vendor-neutral, non-prescriptive best practices.
  4. A service is a means of delivering _____ to _____ by facilitating _____ without _____.
    A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.
  5. Internal customers work for _____. External customers work for _____.
    Internal customers work for the same business as the IT service provider. External customers work for a different business than the IT service provider.
  6. Internal service providers are _____. A shared service provider is _____. External service providers are _____.
    Internal service providers are part of the same organization as the customer. A shared service provider is an internal service provider that provides shared IT services to more than one business unit. External service providers are part of a different organization from its customers.
  7. Internal, shared, and external service providers are also known as _____, _____, and _____ service providers, respectively.
    Internal, shared, and external service providers are also known as Type I, Type II, and Type III service providers, respectively.
  8. Service management is _____.
    Service management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.
  9. IT Service Management is _____.
    IT Service Management is the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business, and is performed by IT service providers through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.
  10. Stakeholders are _____. This includes _____. They may be interested in _____.
    Stakeholders are those with an interest in an organization, project, IT service, etc. This includes customers, partners, employees, shareholders, owners, etc. They may be interested in the activities, targets, resources, or deliverables.
  11. Processes are _____. A process takes _____ and turns them into _____. It may include _____ required to _____. A process may define _____ if they are needed.
    Processes are structured sets of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. It may include any of the roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed.
  12. Roles are _____.
    Roles are sets of responsibilities, activities and authorities assigned to a person or team.
  13. Functions are _____.
    Functions are teams or groups of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities.
  14. Process characteristics include _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Process characteristics include measurability, specific results, customers, and responsiveness to triggers.
  15. The process model describes _____ that use _____, combined with _____, to produce _____.
    The process model describes actions, dependencies and sequences that use inputs and triggers, combined with resources and capabilities, to produce specific, measurable results.
  16. The ITIL service lifecycle includes _____, _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    The ITIL service lifecycle includes Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.
  17. Service strategy defines _____.
    Service strategy defines the perspective, position, plans and patterns that a service provider needs to execute to meet an organization’s business outcomes.
  18. Service design includes _____.
    Service design includes the design of the services, governing practices, processes and policies required to realize the service provider’s strategy and to facilitate the introduction of services into supported environments.
  19. Service transition ensures _____.
    Service transition ensures that new, modified or retired services meet the expectations of the business as documented in the service strategy and service design stages of the lifecycle.
  20. Service operation coordinates and carries out _____.
    Service operation coordinates and carries out the activities and processes required to deliver and manage services at agreed levels to business users and customers.
  21. Continual service improvement ensures _____.
    Continual service improvement ensures that services are aligned with changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to IT services that support business processes.

Assessments[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

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ITIL Translated Glossaries content is copyright © AXELOS Limited 2011. All rights reserved. Material is reproduced with the permission of AXELOS.